The Mid-America Regional Council will honor four area cities for becoming more age friendly at the First Suburbs Coalition meeting on Jan. 18, 2018, at Merriam City Hall. The cities of Independence and Lee’s Summit will receive both silver and gold level designations, and North Kansas City and Peculiar have both attained the Bronze level.
To earn gold level recognition, the city of Independence applied an age-lens to its updated comprehensive and strategic plans. Lee’s Summit earned gold by developing a Communities for All Ages Master Plan. To receive the bronze level designation, North Kansas City and Peculiar gave presentations to raise awareness of aging issues to elected officials, city staff and residents, and conducted surveys with their constituents.
The Communities for All Ages recognition program was developed by the First Suburbs Coalition and KC Communities for All Ages — two groups convened by MARC to develop programs and tools to support first-tier suburbs, help communities respond to a rapid increase in the older adult population, and make communities more welcoming for all age groups. The program is available to all jurisdictions in the nine-county region.
The first Communities for All Ages awards were presented in May 2015. Previous awards have gone to Gladstone, Kearney, Mission and Raymore (gold); Excelsior Springs, Liberty, and Roeland Park (silver); Blue Springs, Grandview and Raytown (bronze).
The recognition program’s three sequential levels of achievement reflect increasing degrees of commitment to becoming a Community for All Ages. The bronze level recognizes heightened awareness of the issues and requires a resolution or commitment by the city’s elected body, along with community presentations and public engagement. The silver level adds the completion of an assessment process and requires the community to appoint a citizen-based committee to assess related city activities and investments. Gold , the highest level, recognizes communities that formally adopt a Communities for All Ages plan based on the assessment completed at the Silver level. Communities can maintain their recognition status by advancing to higher levels or, once the Gold level is achieved, continuing to implement new elements of their plans.
The Communities for All Ages recognition program encourages communities to respond positively to changing demographics and adopt policy and program approaches that make the region a great place to live and age well.
“The city of Lee’s Summit is honored to be recognized as a Community for All Ages at the Silver and Gold levels,” said Cheryl Nash, Lee’s Summit creative services manager. “Lee’s Summit is committed to planning for the future and addressing the changing needs of our residents as our demographics change.”
More information about the recognition program is available online at www.kccfaa.org.